Migraine Headache in its classic form is a unique syndrome, or grouping of symptoms. There is often a PRODROME of anxiety, mood changes or fatigue a day or two before the Headache. There may also be an AURA, such as visual or other sensory symptoms, preceding the headache by minutes.
The Headache is often ONE-SIDED (hence the name, HeMigraine). The Headache is SEVERE, and accompanied by NAUSEA AND VOMITING, a “sick” Headache.
There are a variety of TRIGGERS, such as ripened Cheeses, Red wine, Nitrate-containing foods like hot dogs and pepperoni, and missing your cup of coffee. Stress and Hormonal Changes (menstrual periods) may trigger Migraine.
Migraine often has a FAMILY HISTORY. If one parent has migraine, the risk is 50%, and if both parents, 75%. It is more common in women. During the Headache, Migraine sufferers often seek out a quiet, dark room, and avoid stimulation.
My own experience with Migraine is with isolated OPHTHALMIC MIGRAINE. I have the aura, but luckily have no pain. In my day, 50 years ago, Migraine was considered a Vascular Headache Problem, with Vasodilation being the cause. Many triggers result in Vasodilation.
After a half century of intense study, including the discovery of Calcitonin Gene Related Product (CGRP) in the blood during Migraine, It is now considered a NEUROVASCULAR Headache Problem, and there is optimism for future progress.
TREATMENT can be to abort, to shorten the attack after the warning Prodrome or Aura start. If the attacks are too frequent, such as several times a week,
PREVENTATIVE treatment may be needed. Medications include a host of chemicals, including Hormones, and most recently, CGRP. Many of these chemicals are vasoconstrictors, which narrow blood vessels.
Please refer to the Mayo Clinic article for more information.